MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes is coming to Ocala, expanding its presence in the Sunshine State. Opening later this year, the new Ocala restaurant marks the first MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes restaurant for multi-brand franchisee Brad Harper, who plans to open a total of six MOOYAH restaurants in Florida and Georgia with his partners.
“We were searching for a burger brand that we felt showed potential, and the biggest thing for us was looking for a great product,” Harper said. “We always try to look at franchises that offer quality products and quality meals. When we found MOOYAH, we went and had some of their burgers and thought they were exceptional. Once we went to Texas to meet with their executive team, we knew that we found the right brand.”
Harper has worked in the restaurant business for over 30 years starting at Taco Bell. Since then, he has been involved in seven different franchises, including Zaxby’s, Shuckin' Shack, and Mellow Mushroom. His first Zaxby’s location was store No. 104, and he has been part of the system as Zaxby’s has expanded to almost 1,000 stores. His experience there helped him identify MOOYAH as a high-quality brand poised for explosive growth.
“We are fortunate to be growing quickly with experienced, successful restaurant operators like Brad and his team,” says MOOYAH president Doug Willmarth. “We are expanding quickly in Florida and Georgia, but still have excellent territory available.”
After three decades in the quick-service industry, Harper decided that MOOYAH was the best concept for him to develop due to its superior product quality and prime available territory.
“The future looks bright at MOOYAH. When I visited with the corporate folks in Texas, I realized they had good strategy and franchisee support,” Harper said. “They're working very hard to keep costs in check for franchise owners while providing a high-quality product to guests. From the moment I met them, I felt that we were going to be moving forward and making great decisions. We try to attach ourselves to brands on an upward trajectory, and that’s MOOYAH.”